Milwaukee Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print

Letter from Publisher

I truly enjoyed the parenting wisdom offered in August’s feature article, “Enlightened Parenting: Tips for Raising Confident and Loving Kids.” It led me to ponder my own parenting skills and, curious to hear my 11-year-old son’s perspective, I asked him what’s important for parents to know. After thinking for a moment he said, “Parents should know that kids understand a lot more than you think, and we are capable of doing much more and being more independent then you let us be.” Wow.

I admit to being a somewhat overprotective mom and struggle with finding the balance between allowing my son to experience the freedom and independence necessary for him to develop his creativity and coping skills while also ensuring he is protected from harm. This summer, I’ve made a conscious effort to be a more relaxed parent, and Yonatan is relishing the freedom of going exploring outside with his friends.

Not long ago, he and two neighbor boys discovered a wooded area with a stream close to home, where they’ve been busy building a fort. I’m delighted to see his enthusiasm to meet up with his friends and further their mutual adventure. It’s fun to hear about how they resourcefully furnish the fort using only nature and repurposed items they find outside. Yonatan’s sense of accomplishment shines brightly as he proudly introduces other friends to his special place.

I’m intrigued that the more freedom I allow, the more he openly shares with me. Although grownups are banned from setting foot in this sacred boy space, Yonatan likes to show me pictures, describing the setting and relating every last detail of their activities. Because he knows that I tend to get anxious regarding his whereabouts, he checks in with me regularly without my needing to ask, purely out of his concern and respect for my feelings.

Parents today face challenges that are much different from those encountered when our parents raised us, and one of them is Internet safety. In Time magazine’s opinion-editorial “Let Kids Run Wild Online,” writer Danah Boyd, the author of It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, suggests that parents allow teens online freedom and focus on helping them develop strategies for managing complex social situations, negotiating, assessing risks and asking for help. She makes the case that this approach is far more helpful than tracking, monitoring and blocking their online interactions.

While we instinctively yearn to protect our kids from every potential harm, being too protective can ultimately undermine the opportunities that will enable youth to learn how to successfully navigate their way in a complex world. Boyd suggests allowing them the freedom to wander the digital street, knowing that caring adults are behind them, rooting for and supporting them wherever they go. As Yonatan prepares to breach the cusp of this digital world, I confess I’m not quite ready to cross that bridge.

For now, I’ll continue to cherish this simpler time, while my son is thoroughly enjoying his outdoor, summer freedom and hands-on adventures.

To memories built of fresh fun in the sun,

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Letter from Publisher

Natural Awakenings is just one of many publications delivering cutting-edge information about natural, noninvasive, non-pharmaceutical health remedies presented by health and wellness advocates, scientists and researchers.

Letter from Publisher

As we strive to stay true to our values and ensure that our children feel loved, we need to model this behavior by applying those values in our interactions with others.

Letter from Publisher

Wisconsinites are fortunate to have an abundance of local, organically grown choices. In its 2017 organic agriculture status report, the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems reported that, nationally, Wisconsin is second only to California in the overall number of organic farms and in the number of farms adding organic acres.

Letter from Publisher

While Milwaukee has had its share of unraveling over the years, today activism abounds as community leaders strive for healthy, livable communities that include safe, friendly neighborhoods; public access to green space; thriving, locally owned businesses; and transportation alternatives such as mass transit, cycling and walkability.

Letter from Publisher

A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that extraordinary health benefits may be achieved through fasting, a practice long revered throughout the world for its spiritual benefits.

Letter from Publisher

For years, scientists and climatologists have been warning that the world will face severe water shortages resulting from a combination of climate change and the irresponsible overuse of precious water.

Letter from Publisher

Today Milwaukee has a diverse, sophisticated palate that includes vegetarian and vegan restaurants and a range of international cuisines that were difficult to find in the area a decade ago.

Letter from Publisher

We may expand and grow by giving, practicing gratitude and forgiveness, taking responsibility for our own lives, creating strong social networks, and having a sense of purpose.

Letter from Publisher

Read this issue to become inspired about reducing plastic waste, walking to improve physical and mental health, and keeping pets healthy and happy through responsible feeding.

Letter from Publisher

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. ~Dalai Lama

Letter from Publisher

As Thanksgiving arrives, may we remember to be grateful for all that we have—especially those things that can’t be bought or destroyed.

Letter from Publisher

Whatever our reason for vacationing, travel can open our souls and transform us in unexpected ways.